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Electric Railway To Extend Along Douglas Promanade?

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Not a million miles away, the Ffestiniog Railway have recently rebuilt a long defunct line between Caernarvon and Portmadoc (25 miles through mountainous terrain) and by comparison the reinstatement of the 11 or so miles of track to Peel would be plain sailing. It would attract volunteers, visitors and substantial donations from the large railway preservation community worldwide. I know that it has been suggested before but it's a proposal that really could stand serious examination. This may appear to contradict what I said earlier about the lack of volunteers but a new exciting challenge like Douglas to Peel would appeal to preservationists, especially now that the Welsh Highland line is complete, whereas trying to sack the existing railway/tramway staff and replace them with volunteers is a non-runner.

 

Sorry for taking the thread way off topic.

 

That'll be between Caernarfon and Porthmadog then, Yes it does look quite impressive, but the main attraction to visitors is because its all within Snowdonia national park, the mining/slate industry is of interest to those who worked within the industry and of course its important to have that preserved for future generations.

 

I think it may be harder than you think to reinstate the Peel line. There is at least one building on it that I can think of !! ( the Hyperbaric chamber building for one) :(

 

In addition although assisted by volunteers much of the work on the WHR was done by contractors and the project cost many ten of millions of pounds much of which was raised from grant aid and a couple of rich individuals.

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Some people will just complain about anything it seems to make their life complete! we need to be looking at change all the time, perhaps it is time for the horse drawn trams to go and for the electric railway to run to the sea terminal.

 

It is claimed people only use buses, I have often travelled on the electric railway to Ramsey from Douglas, it is a relaxing journey and more times than not during the day there are more residents going shopping than tourists and you see buses pass with one or two people on!

 

I would be disappointed with any politician if they are not able or willing to open debate about the future.

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At this point I think it's probably worth restating and summarising the argument a little.

 

The suggestion that has been made is that we join the horse tram rails up with those of the electic railway with the view of having the latter run all the way to the sea terminal. What needs to be done is to identify what this involves, what it's likely to achieve and if the same or better results could be delivered by different means,, whether or not it's worth it, and whether there's any real urgency to do it right now. Simply moaning about people moaning, or celebrating the novelty of the idea isn't an argument.

 

So what would such a plan involve:

 

As stated on the clip, we're talking about linking up the rails, which involves crossing the road at some point, running pylons and an overhead electric supply along the prom, and purchasing modern rolling stock. If we're seriously considering it as a mass transport system, then we should also have to improve parking at the main stops.

 

What it's likely to achieve:

 

According to the 2001 census, about 13% of those employed in Douglas reside North of Onchan. It's likely that a lot of those are going to continue driving or getting the bus into Douglas even with a modern efficient tram service, seeing those as more convenient modes of transport, and especially in the Western and North Western areas. After all, why drive from Kirk Michael to Ramsey when it's not much of a longer journey directly to Douglas?

 

Given this, I'd imagine that most of any tram commuter service's market would be from Ramsey, Laxey, surrounding areas of those two, and some from Andreas, Jurby, and Bride. I'd guess that at best such a service could attempt to market itself to maybe 6-7% of all commuters coming into Douglas. However, in practice actual uptake is likely to be much lower as people continue to use their cars and buses for the simple reason that there's not that much more inconvenience in setting off a little earlier and driving your car or getting the bus into the centre of town than driving to Ramsey or Laxey, waiting for the tram, and then walking from the Sea Terminal or Promenade.

 

Compared with the amount of traffic coming in from the rest of the Island and that within Douglas and Onchan themselves at peak times, this means that a tram is going to alleviate congestion by only a negligable amount and even then ignores the main areas where traffic builds up.

 

A similar argument can be applied to those travelling in and out of Douglas to make use of the leisure facilities and/or shop. In other words: if there's a reason to go through with extending the electric railway, commuting and traffic congestion isn't it.

 

So what other reasons are there for going through with the proposal? The electric train isn't really faster or more comfortable than the buses (perhaps they could be, but that just begs the question of why bother bringing them up to that standard when we already have buses in the first place). Would it then add to the quality of Douglas in some aesthetic capacity? Unlikely with pylons running along the prom.

 

That then just leaves tourism. I think too much has been made of the potential for growth in this sector promised by the electric railway. Enthusiasts prepared to travel all the way to the Island in order to sit on the electric railway aren't going to begrudge heading over to the existing terminus at the end of the Promenade, so I doubt we'd see more of them turn up. For non-enthusiasts I fail to see what difference being able to pick up a train at the sea terminal or across the road from the Sefton would actually make. How many tourists out there would really be swayed by the thought of being able to get the train all the way to Ramsey and are put off from visiting by the prospect of walking or having to getting a short journey on the Horse tram first? That the MER does decently as a heritage railway at the moment is no argument: it does not suggest that extending it will make it even more popular and certainly not enough to justify the cost.

 

So unless someone else can come up with a convincing argument, the answer to what extending the range of the electric railway seems to be 'not much': it might make things a little more convenient for a small number of people and perhaps it will suit the needs or tastes of a small number of tourists. But most of this could be achieved cheaper and easier via the bus service.

 

This in turn suggests that what's being proposed simply isn't worth it: what could be achieved is of minimal benefit and much of that could already be replicated by tinkering with the bus service. This, combined with Dave Hedgehog's earlier comment effectively counters any idea that we should be thinking about linking the rails right now, even if we could do it now.

 

 

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This in turn suggests that what's being proposed simply isn't worth it: what could be achieved is of minimal benefit and much of that could already be replicated by tinkering with the bus service. This, combined with Dave Hedgehog's earlier comment effectively counters any idea that we should be thinking about linking the rails right now, even if we could do it now.

Totally agree.

 

Robertshaw should think a little before he speaks. The idea is nuts, as is the focus on it. Persuing silly ill-thought-out ideas quickly damages credibility here. And we need credibility, commonsense and focus urgently, given the dire financial situation we face.

 

Tourism has gone. To get anywhere near the tax take to replace £200M would require at least 4 to 5 million visitors here a year. It won't happen, so lets get real please and move on.

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Robertshaw should think a little before he speaks. The idea is nuts, as is the focus on it. Persuing silly ill-thought-out ideas quickly damages credibility here. And we need credibility, commonsense and focus urgently, given the dire financial situation we face.

 

I agree. Twice I have come Robertshaw on topics on here b and his postings greatly undermined my opinion of him. Many people appear to have a high opinion of him but I am concerned that he is not able to take an argument on board. He seemed very much to have a set position and not to be able to comprehend much beyond that.

 

As I say I am not concerned that are opinions would differ rather that he appeared to struggle to understand an alternative point of view. Having said that probably a decent back bench MHK but not somebody I would really want to lead us, but that applies to most

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As a relative newbie on here I have often questioned the constant referrals to a Manx Monorail.

 

Is this what started the joke? Falls into place if so :blink:

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As a relative newbie on here I have often questioned the constant referrals to a Manx Monorail.

 

Is this what started the joke? Falls into place if so :blink:

 

We needed some way to travel to the felt museum in style!

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As a relative newbie on here I have often questioned the constant referrals to a Manx Monorail.

 

Is this what started the joke? Falls into place if so :blink:

 

You think it's a joke?

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Robertshaw should think a little before he speaks. The idea is nuts, as is the focus on it. Persuing silly ill-thought-out ideas quickly damages credibility here. And we need credibility, commonsense and focus urgently, given the dire financial situation we face.

 

I agree. Twice I have come Robertshaw on topics on here b and his postings greatly undermined my opinion of him. Many people appear to have a high opinion of him but I am concerned that he is not able to take an argument on board. He seemed very much to have a set position and not to be able to comprehend much beyond that.

 

As I say I am not concerned that are opinions would differ rather that he appeared to struggle to understand an alternative point of view. Having said that probably a decent back bench MHK but not somebody I would really want to lead us, but that applies to most

 

 

There have been many comments here about how crazy the idea is and a few where the criticism has verged on ridicule. Reading some of them you might think I was suggesting we charge immediately on with some sort of grand scheme!. What I was supporting was the very straight forward suggestion made by others that when the tram track is moved from the centre to the side of the promenade that the opportunity is taken to link the two lines at the north end of the promenade. In so doing it decides nothing - all it does do is protect future potential for something that may or may not happen at some later date. I think that is a pratical, sensible and obvious thing to do - not to be done as a stand alone project but simply because the track is to be repositioned anyway. If work was not going ahead anyway then I would be the first to accept that it would not be justified.

 

I went on to say why it might be sensible to take the opportunity provided to make the link to protect future potential but this has been taken as a full blown justification, on my part, for the implimentation of a grand scheme - which of course it was not - nor could it be.

 

I stand by what I said - if the horse tram track is to be moved then it would be a good idea to link the horse tram track into the electric tram track. Nothing more nothing less.

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I agree. Twice I have come Robertshaw on topics on here b and his postings greatly undermined my opinion of him. Many people appear to have a high opinion of him but I am concerned that he is not able to take an argument on board. He seemed very much to have a set position and not to be able to comprehend much beyond that.

 

As I say I am not concerned that are opinions would differ rather that he appeared to struggle to understand an alternative point of view. Having said that probably a decent back bench MHK but not somebody I would really want to lead us, but that applies to most

In fairness he only suggested linking the actual track, as it's of the same gauge. Not adding 'pylons' or buying rolling stock or anything, just connecting them. Linking them could be useful for more mundane stuff - perhaps joint storage of trams and cutting costs, not necessarily the new line. And even this is only on the basis that there's no extra cost (or negligible difference).

 

As to the taking a stance on issues - most voters think reasoned debate is equivalent to dilly-dallying (and not willing to stick their neck out), so it's hard for them to win on that front.

 

I don't know/live in CW's constituency, I just thought the criticism coming his way was a bit harsh for what he's actually stated.

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I agree. Twice I have come Robertshaw on topics on here b and his postings greatly undermined my opinion of him. Many people appear to have a high opinion of him but I am concerned that he is not able to take an argument on board. He seemed very much to have a set position and not to be able to comprehend much beyond that.

 

As I say I am not concerned that are opinions would differ rather that he appeared to struggle to understand an alternative point of view. Having said that probably a decent back bench MHK but not somebody I would really want to lead us, but that applies to most

In fairness he only suggested linking the actual track, as it's of the same gauge. Not adding 'pylons' or buying rolling stock or anything, just connecting them. Linking them could be useful for more mundane stuff - perhaps joint storage of trams and cutting costs, not necessarily the new line. And even this is only on the basis that there's no extra cost (or negligible difference).

 

As to the taking a stance on issues - most voters think reasoned debate is equivalent to dilly-dallying (and not willing to stick their neck out), so it's hard for them to win on that front.

 

I don't know/live in CW's constituency, I just thought the criticism coming his way was a bit harsh for what he's actually stated.

 

I understand that, I was thinking back to a couple of discussions over the last couple of years. As for linking well whether the cost is £10, £100, £1,000 or a million quid I do not really care. If the chance of anything further coming of it is practically nil and the cost to do now or later is similar it is a complete waste of money to do now even if it only costs another £10.

 

If there was a realstic chance of something coming of this and the cost savings to link now rather than later were substantial I would have had a different view.

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I stand by what I said - if the horse tram track is to be moved then it would be a good idea to link the horse tram track into the electric tram track. Nothing more nothing less.

 

I stand by what I said in the above post and that is why I am questioning why you advocating spending an additional sum of money now, even if it is only £10, when the chances of anything futher happening in the short or medium term are practically nil. In addition in the unlikely event that a link is required in the future the costs of doing at that point rather than now are not likely to be substantially different.

 

I repeat that if there was a realstic chance of something coming of this and the cost savings to link now rather than later were substantial I would have had a different view but in my opinion you are advocating spending an additional sum of money on something that is unlikley ever to be used. It may not be a huge some but it still equates to unnecessary expenditure which is unlikely ever to be recovered. Basically you are advocating spending money for no benefit!

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